Photo: Amiri Baraka | Joyce Jones
The next show will air on Sunday, October 19, 2014 from 11:00 PM – 1:00 AM Monday Eastern Standard Time on WBAI, 99.5 FM in the NYC metro area or streaming online at wbai.org. This installment of Suga’ will focus on the legacy of the Black Arts Movement and feature talks by Sonia Sanchez and Drs. John Bracey and James Smethurst of the University of Massachusetts Amherst at a release party for their new book on the Black Arts Movement, SOS: Calling All Black People: A Black Arts Movement Reader. You can hear a short preview below.
Sonia Sanchez, whose been previously featured on Suga’ in My Bowl, while best known for her poetry and central role in the Black Arts Movement, is also a playwright, activist, and educator. In her presentation, Sanchez recalls the origin of Baraka’s decision to come to Harlem and help organize Black artists and discusses the beginning of Black Studies programs. She also speaks about the role of the Black artist and what she expects of herself as a poet. Sanchez also talks about her discovery of the Schomburg library and Micheaux’s legendary Harlem bookstore and Malcolm X’s influential role in her political and intellectual development.
Dr. John Bracey is chair of the W.E.B. DuBois Department of Afro American Studies at UMass Amherst, where he’s taught since 1972. In the 1960s, Bracey was active in the Civil Rights and Black liberation movements in Chicago and has focused on this time period in his research. In his presentation, Bracey discusses Baraka’s contributions to the Black Arts, provides context for the emergence of the movement, and makes connections to current artists in hip hop.
Dr. James Smethurst is Professor of Afro American Studies at UMass Amherst. He is author and editor of several books, including The Black Arts Movement: Literary Nationalism in the 1960s and 1970s and The New Red Negro: The Literary Left and African American Poetry, 1930-1946. He is also working on a history of the Black Arts Movement in the south. Smethurst gives a timeline of the Black Arts Movement and discusses the role of Amiri Baraka in the movement.
SOS—Calling All Black People: A Black Arts Movement Reader brings together a broad range of key writings from the Black Arts Movement of the 1960s and 1970s, among the most significant cultural movements in American history. The aesthetic counterpart of the Black Power Movement, it burst onto the scene in the form of artists’ circles, writers’ workshops, drama groups, dance troupes, new publishing ventures, bookstores, and cultural centers, and had a presence in practically every community and college campus with an appreciable African-American population. Black Arts activists extended the reach even further through magazines such as Ebony and Jet, on television shows such as Soul! and Like It Is, and on radio.
Special thanks to the Center for Black Literature at Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn for permission to record the presentations at their event and to WBAI producer Dred Scott Keyes, who gathered the sound and presented parts of it on his WBAI show Cutting Edge.
Show engineered, produced, hosted, and edited by Joyce Jones. Sound recording and engineering by Dred Scott Keyes. Listen for our On the Bandstand segment with NYC metro area appearances of Suga’ guests at the end of the first hour with Associate Producer Hank Williams.
This show will feature highlights of our premium for the fall fund drive, which is a 2-CD presentation of the book release event at the Center for Black Literature at Medgar Evers College on October 9, 2014. Discussion panelists were co-editors Sonia Sanchez with Drs. John H. Bracey Jr. and James Smethurst. For your generous financial support to WBAI-FM, you will be able to get a copy of this program. You can also support WBAI (and the show) by donating as little as $5 during the fund drive.
Photos: John Bracey via UMass Afro Am | Sonia Sanchez via Wikimedia Commons / Slowking
Photo: League of Revolutionary Black Workers.
The next show will air on Sunday, June 1, 2014 from 11:00 PM – 1:00 AM Monday Eastern Standard Time on WBAI, 99.5 FM in the NYC metro area or streaming online at wbai.org. During this membership/fund drive special, Suga’ In My Bowl will feature a February 2014 panel discussion at The Brecht Forum that explored the embrace of Marxism by large sections of the Black Movement in the United States during the early 1970s. As a period of rapid social change in which the benefits gained during the Civil Rights Movement were beginning to be felt and Black mayors were being elected all over the country, Black workers also began to take increasingly militant action at the point of production in a variety of industries.
Activists responded to all these factors in numerous ways, one of which was a turn toward Marxism. Exploring this turn, panelists will speak to how they came to embrace Marxism, what influenced them to do so, the increasing sectarianism that followed, and speak to the legacy of the Marxist turn on movement forces today.
Participants include Komozi Woodard (Professor of History, Public Policy & Africana Studies at Sarah Lawrence College), Cleo Silvers (former member of the League of Revolutionary Black Workers and NYC based community organizer), Sam Anderson (activist-teacher-writer), Joan Gibbs (former member of and co-chair of the Brecht Board) and Yusuf Nuruddin (Lecturer of Africana Studies, College of Liberal Arts at University of Massachusetts Boston), moderator.
Broadcast show produced, engineered, edited, and hosted by Joyce Jones. Listen for our On the Bandstand segment with NYC metro area appearances of Suga’ guests at the end of the first hour with Associate Producer Hank Williams.
If you missed it, there’s still time to pledge for our Amiri Baraka Presente 4-CD package with an April 2014 presentation hosted by The Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church and a conversation between Amiri Baraka, Joyce Jones, Hank Williams, and Kazembe Balagun. You can also just donate to WBAI (starting at only $5) and it will help the station a lot and help keep us on the air. But be sure to join us for what’s sure to be a great show!
Photo Credit: Joyce Jones. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
The next show will air on Sunday, May 11, 2014 from 11:00 PM – 1:00 AM Monday Eastern Standard Time on WBAI, 99.5 FM in the NYC metro area or streaming online at wbai.org. During this membership/fund drive special, Suga’ In My Bowl will feature Amiri Baraka Presente. We will continue to remember New Jersey’s Poet Laureate with a presentation, which was conceived, produced and hosted by The Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church on April 5, 2014. WBAI recorded the event with cooperation and permission of The Poetry Project.
“Amiri Baraka at the Poetry Project” was held at St. Mark’s Church on April 5, 2014 and featured tributes to Amiri and readings of his works by several poets and musicians. Among those performing were Toi Derricote, Ammiel Alcalay, Quincy Troupe, Basil King, Martha King, Cornelius Eady and Rough Magic, Greg Tate, Oliver Lake, Julie Patton, David Henderson, Bob Holman, Latasha N Nevada Diggs, Steve Dalachinsky and Matthew Shipp, Tracie Morris and Vijay Iyer, Anne Waldman and Ambrose Bye, Devin Waldman, and Steven Taylor.
We’ll be offering the poetry tribute as a 2-CD set along with a 2011 broadcast of a conversation between Amiri Baraka, Joyce Jones, Hank Williams and and Kazembe Balagun on 2-CDs . The entire 4-CD package is available as a thank you gift for a pledge to WBAI. So pledge for the CD set or simply just donate to WBAI (any amount over $5) if you can, but be sure to join us for what’s sure to be a great show!
Broadcast show produced, engineered, edited, and hosted by Joyce Jones. Listen for our On the Bandstand segment with NYC metro area appearances of Suga’ guests at the end of the first hour with Associate Producer Hank Williams.
Suga in My Bowl thanks The Poetry Project and individual artists for their generosity in allowing us to record the event and their commitment to supporting listener sponsored community radio in New York City. Special thanks goes to Poetry Project Director Stacy Szymaszek and Program Manager Simone White, whose attention to detail and logistical help made the collaboration possible!
Special note: Tuesday, May 13, 2014 is Election Day in Newark, NJ. Poet and Amiri’s son Ras Baraka, whose campaign Amiri dedicated some of his last days on earth working on, is running for mayor. Details are at his campaign website.
The next show will air on Sunday, February 16th, 2013 from 11:00 PM – 1:00 AM Monday Eastern Standard Time on WBAI, 99.5 FM in the NYC metro area or streaming online at wbai.org. During this membership/fund drive installment, Suga’ in My Bowl launches four weeks of Women’s History Month covering women in different areas of this music. We start with on-air radio host and producer Rhonda Hamilton Carvin.
Don’t forget the program is the premium, so please tune in and donate whatever you can to help us continue this listener-supported experiment.
Rhonda Hamilton, a native New Yorker, is the host and producer of Midday Jazz which airs weekdays, 10AM – 2PM on WBGO/Jazz 88.3 FM in Newark, NJ.
Ms. Hamilton is a graduate of Boston University’s College of Communication. She also studied at the Actor’s Studio in Boston. Her career in radio began in 1975 as a jazz announcer/producer at WBUR-FM, Boston. She later became the music director of WBUR.
Returning to the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area in March 1979, Ms. Hamilton came to WBGO at the station’s inception and has played a key role in making Jazz 88 one of the finest and most listened to jazz stations in the world. Ms. Hamilton also helped to inaugurate the jazz programming on Sirius Satellite Radio where she hosted a daily program from 2001 until April 2009. Since 1980, she has had a regular presence on National Public Radio as the voice of numerous nationally syndicated programs including JazzSet and NPR’s annual New Year’s Eve broadcast, Toast of the Nation-Coast to Coast. She’s been honored by the Jazz Journalists Association and has received 2 consecutive New York Jazz Awards for Best Jazz DJ “in appreciation of a major contribution to the cultural life of our region.” Ms. Hamilton is also a recipient of The Ladies in Jazz Award from the Mayor of NYC and the Harlem Chamber of Commerce. Other honors include recognition from the Spelman College Alumni Association and the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity.
On-camera, Ms. Hamilton was a music reviewer and commentator on the public affairs program, Mzizi Roots on WBZ-TV in Boston and the host of a 36 program series on WNYC-TV called Brazil/New York which focused on various aspects of Brazilian culture. She was profiled on the Disney series Working and she’s been featured in interviews about jazz and WBGO for the New Jersey Public Television Network, WNBC, WNYW and WWOR in New York and NHK in Japan
Ms. Hamilton is also an accomplished voice-over artist with over three decades of experience in commercial and corporate voice-over.
Listen for our On the Bandstand segment with NYC metro area appearances of Suga’ guests at the end of the first hour with Associate Producer Hank Williams.
Show produced, engineered, edited, and hosted by Joyce Jones.
Pat Metheny. Photo credit: Flickr user Steevithak/ Creative Commons licensed.
Reminder: Suga’ in My Bowl now airs weekly on WBAI, except for the last Sunday of the month! Please update your calendars, pass the word on to friends, and share on social media if you like the show.
The next show will air on Sunday December 15, 2013 from 11:00 PM – 1:00 AM Monday Eastern Standard Time on WBAI, 99.5 FM in the NYC metro area or streaming online at wbai.org. This installment of the program will feature an encore presentation of a 2010 interview with the incredibly versatile guitarist, composer, and bandleader Pat Metheny. It’s a fund drive special, so we’ll be offering the interview and one of Metheny’s CDs as as thanks for a pledge to the station.
Pat Metheny was born in Kansas City on August 12, 1954 into a musical family. Starting on trumpet at the age of 8, Metheny switched to guitar at age 12. By the age of 15, he was working regularly with the best jazz musicians in Kansas City, receiving valuable on-the-bandstand experience at an unusually young age. Metheny first burst onto the international jazz scene in 1974. Over the course of his three-year stint with vibraphone great Gary Burton, the young Missouri native already displayed his soon-to-become trademarked playing style, which blended the loose and flexible articulation customarily reserved for horn players with an advanced rhythmic and harmonic sensibility – a way of playing and improvising that was modern in conception but grounded deeply in the jazz tradition of melody, swing, and the blues. With the release of his first album, Bright Size Life (1975), he reinvented the traditional “jazz guitar” sound for a new generation of players. Throughout his career, Metheny has continued to re-define the genre by utilizing new technology and constantly working to evolve the improvisational and sonic potential of his instrument.
Metheny joined us via telephone for an hourlong wide-ranging interview before a rare week-long stint at New York’s Blue Note with bassist Larry Grenadier. Metheny talks about his use of electronics in music, the art of improvisation, his innovative Orchestrion releases and tours, his stint teaching at the prestigious Berklee College of Music as a teenager, and much more. We’ll play excerpts of the interview and music from the entire spectrum of his incredibly prolific career.
We’ll also share cuts from his 2010 What’s It All About solo release, which we’ll be offering along with a copy of the full interview for people who donate to WBAI. All About Jazz‘s Nenad Georgevski calls it “an essential record” in his positive review, noting that “Metheny impresses more with subtlety and melodic logic than with firecrackers. In the end, he has made a record that can lure the listener into emotional spaces that enchant, seduce and delight.”
See the full track list and info on What’s it All About on Allmusic.
Engineered and Produced by Joyce Jones. Hosted by Arts Producers Joyce Jones and Hank Williams.
Watch Metheny play a solo version of “Into the Dream” with the Pikasso 42 string guitar.
In memory of the recently deceased guitar great Jim Hall, watch them perform together live with (former Suga’ guest) bassist Christian McBride.
The next show will air on Sunday May 19, 2013 from 11 PM to 1 AM Eastern Standard Time on WBAI Radio, 99.5 FM in the NYC metro area or streaming online at wbai.org. On the heels of pianist Marc Cary’s recent Harlem Stage events and new release honoring Abbey Lincoln, this installment of “Suga’ In My Bowl” will continue to honor renaissance woman Abbey Lincoln. This special was originally offered in October 2010. You can hear a short preview below.
Most people are only familiar with Abbey Lincoln as a singer and actress. However, Ms. Lincoln was also published poet, writer, visual artist and composer. During this special, several artists will either share their personal tributes and/or read the work of Ms. Lincoln. Contributing artists include:
Sonia Sanchez, who will read Ms. Lincoln’s piece “To Whom Will She Cry Rape?” from the 1970 Toni Cade Bambara anthology “The Black Woman” and originally printed in a 1966 issue of “The Negro Digest.” Latasha N. Nevada Diggs will read Ms. Lincoln’s poetry which was included in Amina and Amiri Baraka’s 1983 anthology titled “Confirmation: An Anthology of African American Women.” Lashonda Katrice Barnett, author of “I Got Thunder: Black Women Songwriters on Their Craft,” which featured an exchange with Abbey Lincoln, will read excerpts from Ms. Lincoln’s unpublished autobiography. Rembrances from political prisoner Mumia Abu Jamal, writers the late Jayne Cortez, Amina and Amiri Baraka, Mark Anthony Neal, Farah Jasmine Griffin and Carl Hancock Rux, filmmakers Ifa Bayeza (“You Gotta Pay The Band”) and Carol Friedman (“Abbey Lincoln: The Music Is The Magic” in production), Maggie Brown (daughter of Oscar Brown Jr.), bassists Christian McBride and Charlie Haden.
These contributions will be offered as a 2-CD set in an effort to help continue this listener-supported experiment that is WBAI/Pacifica Radio. Please join us as we continue to remember Ms. Abbey Lincoln (Aug. 6, 1930 – Aug. 14, 2010).
Co-Hosted by Joyce Jones and Hank Williams. Produced and engineered by Arts Producer Joyce Jones.
Note: Suga’ in My Bowl’s new blog, which we’re calling Behind the Mic is now up and running. We’ll use it to expand on some of the shows, artists, and ideas you’ve heard on the show and post related content, new release info, and provide a space for discussion. Right now, there’s a short interview with Dr. Judith King-Calnek, presenter of the Brazilian Journey. We’re still tweaking it, but invite you to head over and check it out.
The next show will air on Sunday February 17, 2013 from 11:00pm – 1:00am Monday Eastern Standard Time on WBAI, 99.5 FM in the NYC metro area or streaming online at wbai.org. This installment of the program will feature “The Brazilian Journey” presented by Dr. Judith King-Calnek. Join us as we do our part to continue an educational component of the Pacifica Mission during this Winter Membership Drive. Listen to a short preview below:
As Suga’ in My Bowl did with “The Journey” with Bobby Sanabria and “The Blues Journey” with Dr. Guthrie Ramsey, we tapped an expert to walk listeners through the presentation. “The Brazilian Journey” will take listeners on a trip through the development of the various styles of music that come from Brazil. While popularity in the US was spurred on by the Bossa Nova invasion and the legendary soundtrack of the film Orfeu Negro (Black Orpheus), there’s much more history and context and King-Calnek presents a lot of it. In signature Suga’ style, it’s accompanied by an infectious soundtrack and shaped by Joyce Jones’s meticulous editing.
The entire Brazilian Journey is a multi-CD set that listeners can receive as a gift for pledging to WBAI and will serve as a gateway to the music, culture, and history of Brazil for curious listeners. Even then, it presents a challenge for Dr. King-Calnek, who warns that she’s “just offering a very small taste, the tip of the iceberg, if you will, to whet your appetite for the delicious world of Things Brazil”.
This show will present highlights of “The Brazilian Journey” while attempting to raise badly needed funds for WBAI. Join us on this journey. Donate to WBAI or pledge if you can, but be sure to join us for Suga’ in My Bowl’s latest musical trip.
Judith King-Calnek teaches anthropology, theory of knowledge and history at the United Nations International School, where she is the Head of the Humanities Department. She has taught anthropology at Manhattanville College in Purchase, NY. Her publications have focused on education and citizenship in various contexts (international schools, Brazil and the United States). Her most recent publications on free people of color in 19th Century Virginia reflect her continued interest in the intersection of race/color and citizenship in socially stratified societies. King-Calnek holds a Ph.D. in comparative education and anthropology from Teachers College Columbia University as well as two master’s degrees (curriculum and teaching and anthropology and education) from the same institution, and a BA from Pomona College. In addition to her teaching and researching, Judith King-Calnek pursues her long time love of Brazilian music and jazz as a radio programmer and producer in the New York area, for which she has received numerous awards. Dr. King-Calnek also hosted a program on the Pacifica sister station WPFW-FM. She is fluent in Portuguese and Spanish.
Hosted by Joyce Jones.
The next show will air on Sunday December 9, 2012 from 11:00pm – 1:00am Monday on WBAI, 99.5 FM in the NYC metro area or streaming online at wbai.org. On this installment of “Suga’ In My Bowl,” we will present keyboardist, composer, “arti-vist” and one-third of the group Medeski Martin and Wood, John Medeski. Join in and help us “Reboot WBAI“!
As the keyboardist in the trailblazing instrumental trio Medeski Martin & Wood, solo performer, leader of his own project the Itch, film composer, and producer, collaborator and sideman with countless other artists, Medeski has channeled this transformative force with uncanny power and imagination.
A skilled composer and whirling-dervish improviser, he consistently wrings sonic revelations from acoustic and electric piano, Hammond organ, Clavinet, Mellotron, assorted synthesizers and other instruments. He’s nearly as dynamic visually as aurally, windmilling his hands across the keys, leaning into a B-3 stab, reaching inside the piano to tap the strings with a screwdriver.
Whether the music he’s playing at any given moment can be classified as jazz, funk, modern classical, avant-noise, roots music, rock or “world,” however, is of little concern. “I never separated music into categories,” he insists. “Whoever I’m playing with, I just think, ‘What can I add that will be part of this? Does it need anything?’”
He was born in Kentucky but raised in Florida, starting piano lessons at the tender age of five. Though his fervor for music wasn’t instantaneous, he had his first “out-of-body experience” playing a Mozart sonata while still an adolescent. “It was a competition, and I guess I arrived late, because I had no time to get ready and just sat down and played,” he recalls. “It was like I wasn’t even playing – I was just transported. After that, I did whatever I could to get that feeling back.”
Medeski sold his piano before leaving home to attend the New England Conservatory (NEC) in Boston. He continued to play piano there, but the discovery of a dust-covered Hammond B-3 organ in a rehearsal hall would significantly alter his course. “I’d checked out the B-3 before and listened to Jimmy Smith and Larry Young,” he notes, “but this time, when we started jamming with it, I was blown away. It was a universe of sound. I was playing a lot of free jazz at the time and really got into the coloristic possibilities of the instrument.”
A group that effortlessly straddles the gap between avant-garde improvisation and accessible groove-based jazz, Medeski, Martin & Wood have simultaneously earned standings as relentlessly innovative musicians and as an enormously popular act. Emerging out of the New York downtown scene in the early ’90s, MMW soon set out on endless cross-country tours before returning home to Manhattan to further refine their sound through myriad influential experimentations. Each of the musicians — keyboardist John Medeski, drummer/percussionist Billy Martin, and bassist Chris Wood — had crossed paths throughout the ’80s, playing with the likes of John Lurie, John Zorn, and Martin mentor Bob Moses. In 1991, the trio officially convened for an engagement at New York’s Village Gate. Soon, the group was rehearsing in Martin’s loft, writing, and then recording 1992’s self-released Notes from the Underground. As the group began to tour, escaping the supportive though insular New York music community, Medeski — a former child prodigy — switched to a Hammond B-3 organ rather than a grand piano.
WBAI is also in the middle of a short fund drive to help the station recover from time off the air during Hurricane Sandy. While we’re airing a regular show this time, If you haven’t pledged recently, please consider making a donation while we’re on the air. Copies of The Journey radio documentary with Bobby Sanabria that chronicles the trip of music from Africa to the Caribbean and Latin America are still available, as are copies of The Blues Journey with Dr. Guthrie Ramsey.
Produced by Joyce Jones and Hank Williams. Hosted and Engineered by Joyce Jones.
This installment of the program will feature encore presentations of two very special audio documentaries chronicling the development of African disapora music. “The Journey: From Africa to the New World Through Cuba, Puerto Rico, The Dominican Republic, Haiti and Beyond” is presented by drummer, percussionist, composer, arranger, multicultural warrior educator Bobby Sanabria. “The Blues Journey,” is courtesy of Dr. Guthrie Ramsey, Professor of Music History at the University of Pennsylvania.
Sanabria’s “The Journey” takes listeners on a musical and historical trip that brilliantly and plainly explains how African musical elements and cultural forms spread across the globe to shape music and culture in the Americas. Countless musical examples make this a deeply engaging and lively presentation. Listen to a short preview of his presentation:
In “the Blues Journey”, Dr. Ramsey lays out his theory of the American music form known as The Blues and expands it beyond the standard 12-bar blues understanding to show how it seeps into several musical forms and areas of cultural expression. Listen to a short preview of his presentation:
Join us as we help continue the important work of WBAI during the Fall Membership Drive. “The Journey” was one of the year’s most popular fund drive programs and got such positive feedback that we followed it up with “The Blues Journey”. You can help keep the station (and us) on the air by pledging for either “The Journey” with Bobby Sanabria, “The Blues Journey” with Dr. Guthrie Ramsey (or both!) on CDs as a thank you gift. Or simply make a donation to the station. Whatever you decide, be sure to tune in for some great music and information.
Hosted, produced, and engineered by Joyce Jones.